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2016 Election Learning

November 11, 2016 Leave a comment

As I have grown older, I have begun to appreciate politics more than when I was younger. Maturity and wisdom are now replacing the inexperience of youth and the ignorance of youth. Disappointment in my political selections is nothing more than the recognition that nothing changes and does the joy of my political selections. I understand now that the government changes with the slow pace of societal changes. It is the process that I find most fascinating.

With all of the disappointment, crying, celebrating, and overall in your face nature, few Americans understand why our government was set up the way it is. How can I explain to that young latina who believes the solution is to fight and have deaths on “both sides” in order to have her way is not how America was set up? (Yes, there is an actual video of her stating this.) I simply can’t do this. I am even more disappointed, but not surprised, at our entertainers. What I can do is explain the process to my sons, though they should know.

As I watched the electoral votes Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, I could not help see the flaws in the electoral college. If you looked at the electoral college map, you could spot urban areas with ease. What had begun as a way to not marginalize smaller, lower populated states is now marginalizing populations within states. In reality, the origination of this method of voting can be found within chains of slavery. This does not mean that marginalizing groups or states isn’t an issue. The true goal of the electoral college was to protect the slavery interests of the South, since the North’s population was larger than the South’s (excluding slaves) and could have pushed through suffrage. The South could not have any of this, and did its best to “even” everything.

Is the electoral college bad? Should it be replaced by the popular vote? I would argue no and each account with the first needing a qualifier. The electoral college needs modified. As I looked at the red on the map, many of the states really didn’t matter. Does Alaska, Montana, North or South Dakota really matter when competing with California, New York Texas, and Florida? They do not. If we look in more detail at the state of New York, does it matter if you live in any area other than New York City, Albany or Buffalo to name a few? The population of New York City alone represent 42.4% of the state but does not represent the interests of the entire state. This issue can be found in all states for this is an urban versus rural issue. Does all of silly ol’ California want to leave the United States? No. Actually only the unhappy people whose candidate lost.

If we go to a popular vote, why should those in lower populated states bother voting? Their voice means nothing and the Republic portion of America goes away while the true Democracy version of America grows. Why should anyone care about Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Hawaii, and even you D.C.? In many respects, this idea born of slavery ideals is an important method to involve everyone in the election process.

It may be time to update the electoral college by breaking out each state’s electors say Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, so regions may be able to cast their vote towards a more representative candidate. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could cast their allotted votes while more rural regions in the state can select the candidate that they believe represents them. This better aligns the country and keeps with the idea of a republic. Less populated states have value and are more included in the elective process. Their vote actually does matter than the myth propagated now.

How does this election help us learn? It provides parents the ability to educate their youth about the electoral college and why it was designed. This election provides the opportunity to explain to our youth why we need to accept the results especially when it was not what we wanted. We do not need the latina or any of the 2016 election protesters who didn’t get their way to be citing violence. The electoral college was an good idea created on poor principles. What appears to be a poor idea in this year’s election is in reality a better option than the popular vote. Our nation needs the electoral college more now than ever as we are a diverse and widespread country. The goals and ideals of New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and good ‘ol Philadelphia do not necessarily agree with the rural goals and ideals of Utah, Wyoming, the rural areas of Pennsylvania and New York, or even Alaska. We need to give these regions a fair voice and together we can continue grow.

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What Hollywood and the Media Missed

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment

I can recall my thoughts over a year ago as I said, “Don’t worry. Let Trump go, he’ll soon burn out, and we can get to the real candidates.” As he won the candidacy, I thought, “Damn! The Democrats have it, but…” I knew right there that Hillary Clinton was a defeatist selection.

As a white male, I know why I detest Hillary. She is a liar and corrupt. This is no different than any other “qualified” politician. They are all poison, and Hillary was the representation of it. The “Clinton Machine” was another reason. Just as people didn’t want another Bush, Clinton was a dynasty not wanted. There is no sexism here and very little around America. There were better women to select such as Mazie Hirono (I doubt she would win because of her heritage), Kirsten Gillibrand, and Patty Murray to name some of the female Democrats. These women had a better chance than Hillary.

Consider this, if any of the previous mentioned women were running for President, the large numbers of anti-Hillary people would not have come out; therefore PA, MI, FL, and even NC come to the Democratic Party. These women were not as hated as Hillary even though they may be seen as part of the establishment like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush. At most, sexism may have been a truer issue than in Hillary’s case. Indeed, I would prefer these women to “break through the glass ceiling” than Hillary who I see as tainted. Hillary was bitten by the infected zombie, and Americans could smell it.

Our entertainers have always been out of touch with their fans and the public in general. These people throw money around and talk of buying homes in foreign countries to live in because of Trump. How can the rest of Americans do this? The day after the election, we see the entertainers continuing with the venom while the American public is getting on with their life. While the entertainers wish to not unite and heal, the American public want to unite and heal. How is it that we even listen to these venomous and hateful people? We just need to recognize these people are not important and ignore their opinions.

The news media expected Hillary to win. They ignored the discontent in America. We can see today the bitterness with some in CNN as they take a negative approach towards Trump. They projected more of a negative image of Trump and in some cases rightly so. Hillary appeared to have a protectionist bubble surround her as members of the news media struggled to hide their support for Hillary. The most damaging was Donna Brazile and her emails. Today, we see the emphasis on Trumps lack of governing when they forget that President Obama had never governed. Inexperience does not mean anything. Time and again the news media misconstrues Trump’s statements of what he’s going to do. The public understood his statements. Does anyone really thinks he knew more than the generals? No, not even Trump. He was reactionary and a major mistake was to target these statements.

In the end, the public was ignored. How does the CNN political analyst miss the Sanders movement until he wins Michigan? She’s a political analyst? Heck, I understood what was going on early on and from both sides. It may have took me longer with Trump, but I soon understood the dissatisfaction. Our entertainers think a flash of cash and a few witty comments makes the country run. Sorry, but Americans do not have money to throw away and your wit gets old. To the entertainers, why do you continue with your hatred when America is ready to unite? Do you wish to continue to divide this country? Quit blaming everyone else for Hillary’s defeat. She alone must own up to her defeat and not find a scapegoat in order to deceive herself.

I don’t support Donald Trump, but I need him to succeed whether I like him or not. Donald Trump is the newly elected President and like President Obama has some very important decisions to make. His cabinet selection will dictate the success of his administration. The smarter they are the better he will guide America. The next hopeful step is the removal of the corruption in our government. If we can remove it, our lives get better as the money no longer flows to the corrupted politicians, but that is for another discussion.

Riding a Bike

November 3, 2016 Leave a comment

When our second son began to take college courses this fall, we were a little apprehensive about this. He is actually a very bright young man, and this, naturally, was not our concern. Compared to his older brother, we considered our youngest to be the most likely to fail. His older brother has the perseverance that the younger one does not. Failure could destroy the confidence of our youngest and  his anxiety about the upcoming classes had us concerned.

You see, when our first son began taking classes, we were prepared to let him go but continue to monitor from a safe distance. Well, we discovered how that went. His grades would suffer below what we thought he was capable of. Okay, I’m considered less realistic when I expect all A’s. When I actively engaged our son and became a part of his college life, the grades improved. I was Moses during the fight. As long as my arms were up, my son did well, but when I lowered them his grades suffered. God made a poor selection in me. I am the least worthy and capable of this type of task, but I was the only one left in the bullpen, I guess. The reality was that our oldest son was immature and not ready for a full-time schedule let alone two or three courses. His first two years as an official college student was one of weeping and gnashing of teeth. No longer could I be the direct influence upon my son. Though he did well, he also struggled. His junior year has been his wake up year as maturity takes hold.

Our oldest son’s experience weighed us down with our youngest, and the anxiety our youngest had was not helping. Another factor was how my oldest relayed to his brother his study habits. He NEVER read any of his books! All that money we spent on those books! The oldest is an audio learner and does well when the professors actually can teach. He struggles when they can’t and must rely on Youtube for supplemental learning or directly talk to the professor. Our youngest is a different type of learner. He is not as curious as his older brother and does rely on audio learning. His distaste for reading worried us as well, for this was one of the main ways he needed in order to learn.

We are in our third month of the semester, and my youngest son is actually doing great. The first two months were spent by my wife and me supporting our youngest son. He was given leeway on his chores and other tasks. Once he got his firm footing, he was off and running, and unlike his brother, I am not as attached to his college coursework. This doesn’t mean I won’t be a part of it. For the next two years, I will be a support person for my son and maybe even the first two years of his official college life.

As homeschooling parents, my wife and I have recognized that our sons learn differently and require different needs. This is true with all youths. For our sons to succeed on their own, we need to be like the parent teaching their child to ride a bike. We hover around the child as they wobble on the bike and let them go once they achieve the balance needed to ride a bike. This is something I think all parents need to recognize. Our children or young adults need our parental assistance even when we or they think they are on their own. I no longer follow my older son’s coursework. He is riding on his own. My youngest is beginning to learn to ride. My wife and I will surround him until he, too, masters the balance needed for life. We are the first lines of defense against failure.